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New SPAM - offers bogus passports

by Bill Osler / June 24, 2004 2:14 AM PDT

I don't know what happens if you click the link and I don't intend to find out.

The message began:

Do you need a new identity, a new citizenship or a new country to call home.

You are pre-qualified. 50 Countries Available.

Check in here.

The message was followed by a link that I probably shouldn't post here.

I love that line: "You are pre-qualified. 50 Countries Available."

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Sounds like a good idea.
by Kiddpeat / June 24, 2004 11:15 AM PDT

Sometimes just opening the message sends a message to the spammer. His/her web site can do even more.

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Email security
by Bill Osler / June 24, 2004 11:34 AM PDT

Visiting the web site has potential dangers unless browser settings are so strict that the browser won't render many pages correctly. Reading email messages does have its own risks as well, but I think I'm protected from them fairly well. As I understand it there are three main ways that opening an email can send a message to the SPAMMER, but my email client is not vulnerable to them. I'm really not trying to 'advertise' the program. Pocomail has its deficiencies, and it can be a bit quirky, but security is not one of its big problems.

(1) HTML Email can contain scripts - but pocomail will not run scripts inside the email. Users of Outlook Express can substantially achieve this same effect by setting OE to run in the Restricted zone in their security settings and then making sure the Restricted zone has all scripts disabled. It still would not help prevent some of the scripts that are specifically designed to exploit OE weaknesses related to malformed messages. I suppose Pocomail might be vulnerable to that approach, but its user base probably is not big enough to attract people to attempt that kind of exploit. In any event Pocomail is not vulnerable to the standard OE exploits or to javascript exploits.

(2) Email can manipulate cookies - but Pocomail does not set cookies from email. I think OE users can achieve this if they choose their security settings carefully but most don't.

(3) Email can contain image links that are unique to each recipient, so when the reader views an image the server knows that the image was viewed and which recipient viewed it. I have Pocomail set so that it does not download images. It only displays images if they were included in the email itself. I don't think OE has an option to do this.

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Posibly even better, Bill...
by J. Vega / June 24, 2004 12:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Email security

Bill, possibly even better is a little freeware program called Mailwasher. You don't even have to have a browser or e-mail program open, it will go to your ISP, and give you a display of mail information waiting there showing things like from, to, header and other things, even custom ones you set up yourself. With that chart displayed, you can select and delete the obvious spam before it ever hits your browser or stand alone e-mail program.
Nifty little thing, and for free. I never check my e-mail (or even light off my browser to do so) until I first light it off and let it clear the junk from my ISP. No matter what the "trick" it may have, it never even makes it past the ISP waiting mail list,let alone hit my computer to try it.

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Another one
by David Evans / June 25, 2004 3:19 PM PDT

Last time I looked (and it's been a while) Mailwasher had started limiting you to checking only one email account with the free version of the program.

There's another program called Save My Modem that works just like Mailwasher, but doesn't limit you to one email account. It also allows the use of "plugins" like the one that lets you get email from Yahoo in order to delete spam from it, and spamassassin, etc. I've used it for quite a while on Linux. There are versions for both Linux and Windows.


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Pocomail also has a feature ...
by Evie / June 26, 2004 12:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Another one

... to view headers on the server and delete messages before they are ever downloaded to the machine. On my "spam account" I look every now and then, select the few "real" messages to download and wipe out the rest. This feature supports multiple email accounts.

Evie Happy

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Re: so.....as a resident of cyber space
by jonah jones / June 25, 2004 5:07 PM PDT

do i get a free cyber toy?


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